Joseph Bahout is a nonresident scholar in Carnegie’s Middle East Program. He is also the incoming director of the Issam Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut (AUB), where he is also an associate professor of political science. Until 2019, Bahout taught Middle Eastern politics at Sciences-Po in Paris, where he was an associate professor. He worked as a permanent consultant for the policy panning unit of the French Foreign Ministry from 2008 until 2014, and again from 2018 until 2020. There, he was in charge of the Levant as well as U.S. policy toward the Middle East. Bahout was also a consultant on the Middle East in the presidential campaign of Emmanuel Macron. Diwan interviewed Bahout in late August to discuss French policy toward the Levant and the Mediterranean, particularly following Macron’s visit to Lebanon in the aftermath of the devastating explosion in Beirut Port on August 4.